For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord
Luke 2:8-14 Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. "For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. "And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger." And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!"
Besides our familiarity with this story there is much to understand what took place.
An angel of God appears with a light of glory at the same time the true light appeared - born in a baby to a humble couple who had no idea what their lives would be like from this event.
John 1:4-10 “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.”
John the baptizer (fore runner) came to proclaim the true light when He was ready to be revealed to Israel. “The world did not know Him,” Sums up the very purpose that the light came into the world.
The message came to the shepherds first. Those who do the unwanted job of caring for the sheep far away from the hustle and bustle of the city, where their work is unrecognized by man. Shepherds could be trusted with the story:
Luke 2:16-20 “They found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. They made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child.” V. 20 “Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.”
They were the first humans to rejoice with the angels of what has just happened, God has come to intervene with our history. From this point forward everything will be different. It may have happened in Bethlehem Israel an obscure place on earth but by the time it is done all the world will know.
Was he born Dec.25, Jan.6 or in September? Who knows? What matters is that He was born. God’s plan was produced through his chosen vessel, his Son sent from heaven to a virgin and her soon to be husband.
The message of his birth- God wants to be reconciled with sinners, give them mercy instead of judgment, peace in their lives by knowing him.
One could not apply the prophetic Scriptures in the Old Testament to this event unless it actually took place and it certainly would not have survived the scrutinizing if it did not happen just as the Scripture said it would.
People today want peace, no conflict but harmonious living. Peace on earth was sung to the shepherds on the night of the saviors birth by a host of angels (the only time we see this taking place on earth in Scripture). But this did not mean a time of peace for the nation of Israel or no more conflict between man but man having peace with God. Only then can we honestly have good will toward others
“the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger” Only the shepherds will see and understand.
The one that will be king is born unannounced to the important people of the world, but to humble servants. What do they see when they visit the manger, a baby that looks like any other but he is the creator, wrapped in flesh that is also wrapped in swaddling cloths.
The Jews buried people in caves. Since there was no room at the inn this is where Mary and Joseph had to go. Mary and Joseph made the most of what was available to them. It was God ordained. Swaddling cloths were burial cloths that were left in the caves outside the city, they didn’t have separate buildings for animals. The sign was the way he was born into the world; it will be the same way he will also be buried. Ironic that from his birth he came as a lamb, born among the animals in the cave. His birth was a humiliation to be born among the animals with no home.
He was born in a cave away from the world knowing, the same manner he would be buried, but His death will be an exaltation as He will be buried in a rich mans cave and all the world would know.
The sign proclaimed is that he would die, He was born into this world to die for everyone as the Scripture spoke... the love of God reached down coming from heaven to be on earth and began the process of reconciling man, that would culminate with his completed mission; to be wrapped in burial cloths.
"For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord." Born to YOU.
It does not matter what day he was born but that he was born and we can rejoice with the angels that this event happened and the final fulfillment of his return is near. We do not know the day of his birth, nor of his return but we like the shepherds have been told what to look for.